Get me outta here!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Digital Bharat Abhiyaan


India is going through a phase of transition. The New India, the India that is technologically up and vibrant is replacing the old India. Naturally like every other change, this one will take some time to transform India holistically but changes have started taking place almost everywhere from the most advanced metro cities to the countryside villages.


India is aspiring to be a Knowledge Economy and Digital India Project is the vehicle of Government of India to drive that change. The programme aims to ensure easy accessibility to government services and technology infrastructure for all. At present, Information Technology (IT) gives employment to more than 30 lakh people and by the end of Digital India Project, it will generate employment for another 45-50 million people which is gigantic.

Digital India is a programme to prepare India for a future that will transform the existing infrastructure. Technology is the central enabler of this upcoming change. A detailed description of Digital India Programme can be read at DEITy website.


This article is an entry to #DigitalIndia contest by INTEL.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Hello Happiness!

Happiness lies in the sweet little things that we do in our lives. We can always observe a few people with highly negative attitudes brooding about every situation, however, good or bad, and making a sad face out of it. And we equally find a few others who love to take risks, challenges and even in the most difficult situations, keep calm and stay happy. Isn’t it quite possible that they are following a formula for happiness that astonishingly always works for them?

To be fair, most of us don’t even do much to lead happy lives and just wish for something magical to happen which never does. The problem really is that we are seldom able to find that something, we have done recently, which could provide us satisfaction and happiness in life. Happiness really lies in the smallest things that we do in our lives. It is all about appreciating the moment as and when something good happens.

To enjoy something and feel happy about it, we need our attention and focus towards it. What we focus upon changes how we feel about it. If we concentrate more on the bad aspects, we are more likely to feel bad about a certain situation. What if we concentrate on the good and positive aspects? Naturally, we will feel better, lighter and happier.

Like everything else, Happiness begins at home. The little things that we do within the walls of our home can really change our mood or shape our outlook towards the life. Experiences and their memories make us happier that material things, so why not try to make our homes full of positive and blissful memories as much as possible.

Reflecting upon a good event is another important act. By pausing to reflect towards a good event, we feel gratitude and happiness follows. But life is not a bed of roses. Not all that we experience is going to be good either. There will be bad experiences and bad memories. At times, it is way too difficult to forget them. It is better that we accept and get into those memories and then show them their right place.

We can’t afford to keep the bad memories in the mind for long durations, that will only increase the negativity and by the time we will come over it, there will be many more things to feel bad and guilty about. Be consciously aware that there are people around you, who are concerned about you and want to see you happy. Should you not be one of them? Make sure to give back and spread the love that you find. Happiness is all about giving back and making the world a beautiful place to live and cherish.

Do make occasions to laugh. Share the good experiences. Even a smile can make you feel better. Spend some quality time with the people you like and love. This will help you in maintaining supportive relationships which will guide and help you in the times of stress. One is more likely to feel lonely and depressed if she/he doesn’t spend much time with family and friends.  

Also, take some time away from the busy schedule of the day for yourself. Think about your life, meditate to find some peace in the silence. This will refresh you and revitalize your inner self.

Do what you love doing and try to avoid making big mistakes. Mistakes will happen but learn to keep moving forward with them. Don’t brood too much over a mistake. Do give others a chance to rectify their mistakes. Everyone is fighting a hard battle. Do consider it. Learn to forgive yourself and others. It will make life easier.

Last but certainly not the least, Take your time and make a deliberate effort to appreciate the good and the positive about people, things, and situations. Sooner you will realize more happiness. It’s just a thought away. Give it a try and Happiness is truly yours to savour and relish!


Saturday, March 14, 2015

Happiness is meeting a good friend!

Happiness is a feeling which comes from our own actions. It provides more meaning to life. All the struggles, rough patches, friends, foes and incidents of life are a pursuit of a person towards happiness, whether one actually meets with happiness or not and how frequently is a different story altogether. I am no different a person. I too strive for happiness and want to grab every opportunity coming my way.

Life is not all bright sunny days, nor is it so for the relationships that we build in our life. Friendship is one such relation. The beauty of it is that a friend promises to be together in the journey called life. This togetherness is more important and critical in times of trouble than in happiness. It is the greatest gift of life.

Friendship takes time and effort to build. It grows gradually and one must be willing to get to know the other person. It is important to be yourself in a friendship for it to last forever and equally important to accept the other person as such.

The times have changed with the evolution of information technology and social networking. It offers immense opportunities to meet new people, get to know them and change total strangers into real friends. This also is a platform, where we first virtually meet and the actual meeting might happen long after, two people have become friends while the traditional way is to meet first and then befriend.

Social networking and my interest in it have grown simultaneously. I have made good friends with a few whom I have met only because of the internet. This article is about one of them. Our interaction happened due to an email I was forwarding to an acquaintance which mistakenly got sent to somebody else. That was the start of our communication. He responded back and then I reverted. In a few email interactions, we got to know about each other and our interests made it easier for us to become friends.

In short time, we became really good friends. We exchanged numbers, started talking. . The phase when our interaction started, I was going through a down patch. He was a true inspiration and he motivated me to look up and stay positive. Opportunities knock on the door only when one waits with patience and persistence. I also knew it all, but during the bad times, a friendly support is all one needs and it truly helps. It immensely helped me recover from the bad phase. All that and we were living in two different cities far apart.

So our conversations were limited to the internet and mobile for a few years. Then I got a chance to visit his city for attending a marriage ceremony of a good friend of mine. Finally, I got the chance to meet a friend I made virtually for the first time. It was quite an exciting feeling. It was good to see the person I have interacted with so many times to meet for the first time in the real sense of the meeting. That meeting made our friendship stronger and we have met quite many times since then. But the first meeting will always remain the first. It always brings smiles when I recall that.

All that we achieve in our lives is much due to the ones we love the most. The bonding that we share matters a lot. The feeling of togetherness is truly empowering!

This is an entry to the topic 'Power of being #together!' by HOUSING.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Be the Change, don't wait for it!

Change is part and parcel of life. Changes may be good or bad. At times, a change that seems good may turn bad or vice versa. But the fact of the matter is that whether we accept them or reject them, changes are always there. Change is the only permanent truth about life. 

It is difficult to accept this truth in one’s own life as with every change, come difficulties which need to be dealt with. The way we handle the change defines how we progress with our lives and turn ourselves into the best that we can possibly be. As I have learnt with life, a change is an opportunity to better the outcomes, to discover and explore beyond the present realms that you have access to. Dealing with a change might not always result in a pleasant outcome, but in the end it will possibly be worth taking the challenge than denying the chance to better ourselves.

After completing my graduation, I got a decent job in the city of dreams Mumbai. I loved roaming around the city, its landscape. Mumbai has encapsulated millions of dreams in its soul which provide its depth. The city fills a visitor with an awe-inspiring feeling to reckon with. While living in the city, I came nearer to the dreams that I grew up with. The city motivated me to chase my dreams and to accept the required changes in the process. It was difficult to go back to academics after joining the job. Finance was another fact that needed to be dealt with. But above them all were my aspirations. What I always wanted myself to be. Though it was not absolutely clear to me, but somehow I had to go through the rigour of studies once again to discipline myself and reach nearer to my dreams.

It called for me to discontinue the job and leave the comfort of Mumbai to go to the city of Delhi and be a student once again. It took me months to decide but in the end, I positively decided in favour of my dreams and left the job to go back to academics. Now that I am chasing my dream in the city of Delhi, the decision that I took is far behind and the dreams that I chose are closer than they were. The path is well laid out, I have not yet reached the destination. But even the journey seems satisfying and worth taking the pain. The change has got the acceptance and some other changes might be round the corner. There did come a few moments of disappointments, but as the famous quote goes, “If winter comes, can spring be far behind?” 

It did seem difficult to start a new life afresh, but in the end, it certainly will be worth it. The lessons learnt hard are the lessons learnt forever. This is definitely one of them.


This is a part of #StartANewLife Activity by HOUSING.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Hope is a good thing..

Hope is a very good thing. It is being able to see the light despite the darkness. It is around us in almost everyone that we meet if we have the courage and optimism to find a glimmer of hope. The world is full of stories about optimism, about life, about love. I personally have a few that I have encountered at some or the other time. I would like to mention one of them.

It took place on a sunny Sunday morning in the month of March in 2001. I was a student of Class 10th in those days. At the age of 15, I was a sincere but shy boy. My High School Board exams were going on. Exam centre was 10 km away from my residence. I used to travel by shared autos that are a norm in my city Kanpur. This mode of transport is cheaper and convenient.

On that fateful day, I was late than usual days for my travel to the exam centre. In my hurry, I forgot to take the money with me. I boarded a tempo from the auto stand near my house and de-boarded it to interchange for another going towards my exam centre. When I got off the tempo and checked my pockets to pay him, I realized that I have not even a penny to pay for.

I was already late and going back to my house was not a choice. I was struck by panic and tension. It seemed as if I would not be able to reach the exam centre. Tempo driver was waiting for his money and I had none to give. I explained to him my situation, but he was adamant. I really had no choice.

At that moment, another auto driver came to my rescue. He paid for me and assured me that he will take me to the exam centre. Thereafter he took me to the exam centre, dropped me there and motivated me to give the exam with the cool and calm mind. He also asked me when the exam will be over and as I came out of the exam hall, he was waiting there for me.

He dropped me back to my house. When I reached back, I tried to repay him, but he denied any payments. Probably whatever he did, however, big or small, could not have been repaid in terms of money either. It is a really small story and he did no courageous act, but certainly an act that reassures faith and hope in the world that we are living in. He came forward to help in a circumstance where he could easily have shied away and had no reasons to help either. But he still chose to do something good.

The day I passed my exams with flying colours, I had many people to thank for my success- my parents, my teachers and a few of my friends. But he was also the one who played a part in that success story, a Dark Knight that rose to the occasion. I have since met him many times and every time I see him, I see hope and optimism and love and a beautiful smile. He did an act of goodness that I will never measure on a scale and will certainly never forget!

It all could be summed up beautifully in a dialogue from a movie I love, “Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things. And no good thing ever dies.” So keep hoping and keep shining!

This is an entry to Look Up Stories by HOUSING.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

#MyFamilyMyPride Who seeks, shall find!

HDFC Life and Indiblogger have given me an opportunity to blog about a family member who has guided and encouraged me to grow into a better, self-reliant person. In a way, family is all about cooperation, love and care. Family is the first school where a child learns to be herself. A mother understands it better than anyone else in the family. Parents nurture the mind and soul of the child and guide her into a self-reliant grown up. I dedicate this post to the parent closer to the heart, my mother.

I wrote a poem a few years back on Maa in Hindi:

"हे माँ!तुझसे बढकर ना कोई अपना,
अब जागा हूँ नींद से देख रहा था सपना।
करुणा ममता अपनेपन में तू अनुपम है,
दया प्रेम सौहार्द्र का तू संगम है।।

जब मैं रोया तूने मुझको गले लगाया,
जब भी मुस्काया तूने है साथ निभाया।
चला गिरा दौड़ा लातें भी मारी तुझपर;
पर न्योछावर करती रही तू प्रेम निरन्तर।।

In short, these lines describe values that a mother is an ocean of. She enriches her child with love, compassion and care. She hugs the child when she cries and always shares happy moments with her. A mother is an epitome of selfless love. 

There come many such moments in life of a person when he feels like a loser. He feels as if all that he was trying to do is ending up as a big zero. Those are the times when one desperately needs someone to support and guide him. I have also faced such hard situations and at all those moments, my family has always been there for me. They have always been a good support.

My mother has always motivated me to stay positive despite the negativities of life. Fear of failure is more worrisome than failure itself. One can learn from a failure, but the fear and worry often give even a small failure a great shadow. The moments when I felt depressed and wanted to live in solitude, she asked me to identify the root cause of conflict within. Then she guided me to the incredibly important task of taking a swift and immediate action to dissolve the cause. 

She also taught me to channelize the negative energy within into something creative. While the depression drains one of the feelings, the creative work that one does with this monumental force of energy makes one feel compassionately connected with the universeShe also made me learn in those moments to remember and discover all the things that I already have to be thankful for. This helped me to focus on positive aspects of life more than negative ones.

Physical and mental health go hand in hand. She ensured that I remained active and healthy. She encouraged me to spend more time in sun and to exercise more often while ensuring a healthy diet for me. To improve mental health, she guided me to do meditation and yoga to help me relax and clear my mind.

Her guidance and support helped me come out of the bad times. It motivated me to live life with a positive approach. Our relationship is so much like the father-daughter relationship in the commercial that I am sharing. ‘Apno ko apne dum pe jeena sikhao’ is all that a family truly stands for!


Friday, February 27, 2015

Quikr NXT: Makes buying fun and easiest!


Online classified business is expanding wide and across in India with the increasing reach of smartphones. Quikr, as a online classified services portal, was launched in 2008. It has grown into India’s largest online and mobile classified portal ever since. It always tries to do its best in the field to make buying and selling easier for its users.

Quikr Nxt is a step ahead to ensure smart, simple and safe transactions. Indiblogger, through its fantastic Happy Hours initiative, has given me a chance to explore Quikr Nxt to look for a Car. To be more precise, I have been asked how I will replace my existing Car with something better using Quikr Nxt.

With Quikr, the process can really be done in two simple ways.

First Choice is to contact the Car Dealers or agencies directly over the Quikr. I can chat with them at my convenience regarding exchange of my existing car with a brand new one. With features of Quikr Nxt like sharing photos and complete history of past chats, the process can be done as per the needs smoothly and easily. I can get a good deal by talking with a few dealers and finalize upon the best among them all depending upon my budget constraints and mutual agreement.

The Second Choice is what Quikr truly stands for. It being a portal with a huge variety of sellers from all across India provides a fantastic opportunity to interact with some of them and finalize a deal without any mediating dealer.

For this, I first need to sell my existing Car to a dealer on Quikr and then contact a few prospective sellers for buying a brand new one. This option can be exercised by using filters on search menu “Posted by Individual” and “Posted by Dealer”.

To begin with, Quikr Nxt provides an option to create a free alert by providing my buying preferences. I can detail my specific requirements here regarding my budget, preferred brands and City I am residing in etc. It must be noted that these specific details must be mentioned with clarity. Depending upon my preferences, Quikr provides a list of prospective sellers nearby and then I can contact them as per my convenience.

Quikr Nxt also has a novel feature of complete number privacy. It ensures that all communications to prospective buyers or sellers can be done directly via Chat without any need of sharing the number. In this way, I can communicate with a few sellers privately and then I need to reveal my number only to the seller I finalize. This gives a hassle free experience without any disturbing calls at odd hours which may happen in case otherwise.

I can choose favourable choices of Car Dealers and prospective sellers into my list and contact them individually over the chat feature of Quikr Nxt. I will share a few images of my existing Car with the buyers/dealers and ask for the images from the prospective sellers in order to get an idea of present condition of the cars they are searching a buyer for. This will give me an idea about which car choices are closer to my expectations and which are not worth looking for.

Finally, with a wide array of choices and convenience of Quikr Nxt, It’s far easy and fun to find a better Car of my choice than the existing one I already have. All this at the convenience of my fingers just a click away. Sounds awesome, isn’t it? It definitely is, as they love saying, a 'truly befikar experience’.